Exam Policies

Exam Cancellation

  • 0 – 30 days before the exam: no refund
  • 31 days or more prior to the exam date: 50% refund
  • No refunds of late fees
  • Rejected Applications: 75% refund

Note: Prior to submitting your application, please be certain that you meet the criteria to apply

Exam Scoring

The American Osteopathic Board of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AOBOO-HNS) sets passing standards for the written examination using an acceptable measurement model known as “criterion-referenced standard setting.” Following this model, the Board specifies the particular content and level of difficulty necessary for a passing score. The exam process is reviewed by a psychometrician and found psychometrically sound and defensible.

On the day of examination, the candidate will be assigned an exam ID number, and only this exam ID number will be recorded on the examination score sheets and test booklet cover. The exam is scored by a psychometric consultant based upon the AOBOO-HNS exam answer sheet(s). Pass/fail decisions are based solely on the content mastery.

All exam records are reviewed by the AOBOO-HNS to determine the final grade of each portion of the exam.

Candidates will be notified no later than 90 days following the Board’s decision. A passing grade in each portion (written and oral) of the examination process must be received for a candidate to be recommended for certification.

After a candidate has met all requirements and successfully passed the examinations, the Board makes a recommendation to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists for certification. The AOA will inform the candidate in writing of his/her certification and certificate number. The Board office is also notified, at which time the Board will order the certificate to be printed.

Exam Failure

If a candidate fails three successive examinations, he or she must provide documentation of a minimum of 75 hours of CME or graduate study in the specialty. These hours must have been earned after the date of the most recent failure. Approval by the AOBOO-HNS Credentials Committee is required prior to another retake of the examination.

Right to Appeal

If a candidate feels that the actions of the AOBOO-HNS with regard to any part of the examination constitute unequal application of the regulations and requirements or standards, unwarranted discrimination, prejudice, unfairness or improper conduct of the examination, he or she has the right to appeal to this Board.

Appeals must be made in writing to the AOBOO by sending an email to aoboo@osteopathic.org within two hours of the exam administration. All appeals submitted after the two-hour deadline will be denied.

A majority vote of the committee will determine whether the AOBOO-HNS accepts or denies the appeal.

Candidates will be advised by the AOBOO-HNS of the Appeal Committee’s decision by email. If the Appeal Committee accepts an appeal, then the candidate’s examination will not be scored or recorded, and the candidate has the right to take a new exam at the next scheduled exam date with no additional fee.

If an appeal is denied by the AOBOO-HNS, the candidate retains the right to request an appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) and AOA Board of Trustees.

The AOBOO-HNS will not consider appeals based on examination content, sufficiency or accuracy of given answers, scoring of the examination or individual questions, and/or the determination of the minimum passing score. If a candidate’s six years of board eligibility is set to expire while he or she is appealing a failed exam, their board eligible status will not terminate until the appeal is resolved.

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The Board supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for candidates who meet ADA eligibility. The board will make a reasonable effort to provide qualified board candidates who have documented disabilities the necessary auxiliary aids and services that do not fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge the board assessment process is intended to test or result in an undue burden.

The Board supports the intent of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for all patients or patient records that may be used as part of any part of the AOBOO-HNS board certification process.